Another winless week for the Cleveland Cavaliers was made more difficult by the struggles of their young core.
While there were some bright spots, the team was not competitive against the Detroit Pistons or the Philadelphia 76ers. Making any flashes feel a little hollow.
Player of the week: Kevin Porter Jr.
Averages this week: 10.3 points, 2 assists, five rebounds, 50 FG%, 45.5 3P%, 62.3 TS% in three games
Obviously the volume isn’t going to blow you away, but this was a solid week from Porter Jr.
Of the Cavs young players, he probably has shown the most growth in his understanding of the system. While the fouls are still a concern, they come from effort and competing on the defensive end. Which has unfortunately been a rare trait for the Cavs youth.
Yes he makes mistakes, but they are the right kind of mistakes. Given the bleak state of affairs, that’s at least something to feel okay about.
Averages this week: 11 points, 1.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 35.1 FG%, 25 3P%, 43.1 TS% in three games
Garland was unable to build off of his strong week and continues to look tentative against NBA length.
Ideally you’d like to see him get more reps running the pick and roll and learning from those experiences. But if he isn’t confident enough to quickly call his own number if that’s what the defense is giving him and isn’t making the right reads in a timely fashion, it’s tough to get on Beilein for not running it more.
Some more catch and shoot looks could do him some good, but until his conditioning and confidence line up to what was expected pre-draft, he’ll continue to struggle.
Averages this week: 17 points, two assists, 2.3 rebounds, 42.2 FG%, 16.7 3P%, 51.5 TS% in three games
At this point the player that Sexton is, is fairly consistent. He’s going to take a lot of the same shots, he’ll jump some passing lanes, try to make passes offensively, and generally bring effort and life to any lineup he’s a part of.
Whether those shots fall, or if he gets burned gambling on defense, throws turnovers or is blocked at the rim is the one thing that fluctuates.
The outside shot should improve at some point, even if it isn’t to the level we saw in his rookie year. But for a player with limited vision as a passer, his effectiveness is going to be determined by his growth on the defensive end and decision making.
Averages this week: 8.7 points, 1.7 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 50 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 59.7 TS% in three games
When things are going well for the Cavs, they’re usually going well for Osman. He is at his best when he is active off ball and making decisions based on what the defense will give him.
Things are currently not going well for the Cavs, and Osman’s production this week won’t blow anybody away. He’s performing well, but is a rotation player that isn’t really capable of putting the team on his back.
One thing to note is that his effort on defense has dropped off from the beginning of the season. With a tough four game stretch starting Monday night in Boston, Osman will need to step it up on that end if the Cavs are going to pull off an upset at any point.